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  • Showing only topics with the tag "english". Back to normal view
    1. Is there a terse way to say "movies and TV shows"?

      I often wish to refer to both "movies and/or TV shows" in a sentence. I wish to refer only to movies, or only to TV shows, much less often. Is there a word that could mean both? If not, should you...

      I often wish to refer to both "movies and/or TV shows" in a sentence. I wish to refer only to movies, or only to TV shows, much less often. Is there a word that could mean both? If not, should you create it?

      And yes, that is a silly, inconsequential, pedantic preoccupation about language. What can I tell you? I have lots of those. I am what I am :P

      10 votes
    2. Are there any gender-neutral or non-binary honorifics?

      I've been thinking a good bit about gender-neutral language lately, and I've been making an effort to eliminate unnecessarily gendered language from my day-to-day speech. However, there are a few...

      I've been thinking a good bit about gender-neutral language lately, and I've been making an effort to eliminate unnecessarily gendered language from my day-to-day speech. However, there are a few sticking points for me that I am having a hard time with finding my way around. One of the most difficult for me, having been brought up in the deep south and still living there, are honorifics like "sir" and "ma'am". I use these when addressing pretty much anyone, and it's a habit I'm having a hard time breaking. It's got me thinking about whether there are any good alternatives that would feel respectful of the person I'm addressing while not sticking out too much. If that's not an option (and I suspect it would be asking too much) then what are your ideal alternatives, either neologisms, borrowed from other languages, or just repurposed words that are in current use?

      Examples of usage that I would love to replace:
      "Yes, sir/No, ma'am"
      "Excuse me, sir/ma'am"
      "Mr./Mrs./Ms." (I use this less often but still catch myself at times. I also think this one has the best alternative currently in use, with Mx. catching on in some places)

      Also, if this question is missing the mark or disrespectful in any way, please let me know. I'm still learning!

      21 votes
    3. Do you use gender-neutral pronouns? Which one do you prefer?

      A series of gender neutral alternatives for the third person singular pronouns (he/she/it) have been proposed throughout the recent years (and maybe decades). I wonder the preferences of fellow...

      A series of gender neutral alternatives for the third person singular pronouns (he/she/it) have been proposed throughout the recent years (and maybe decades). I wonder the preferences of fellow users here in that regard. So I'd be glad if you could answer the questions in the title, and maybe elaborate a bit on the reasons of your preference. I'm both interested in this generally, and it could be useful as a means to help me practice quantitative linguistic variation (obviously this would hardly be scientifically usable source of data for actual real research so I'm not asking this for that purposes). I'll add my preference as a comment.

      31 votes
    4. Discrimination based on English (and accent)

      I posted an article yesterday about name-blind hiring processes, and it got me thinking of discrimination slightly differently. I actually don't feel that we run into outright racial...

      I posted an article yesterday about name-blind hiring processes, and it got me thinking of discrimination slightly differently.

      I actually don't feel that we run into outright racial discrimination as much nowadays. Instead it's more subtle. It's not about technical merit, but about cultural fit. Often times, distilling down to one skill - English (both spoken and written).

      It brings up questions such as:

      • Can a candidate communicate verbally for the job? (Technical, though sometimes this may be judge harder than for a native English speaker that isn't always clear)
      • Do they "get" jokes and other subtleties? (Cultural fit)
      • Do they have an accent? How heavy is it?

      I believe this is for a couple reasons:

      • Candidate just can't display enough charm or charisma during the hiring process
      • Raise doubts about a candidate's education/upbringing. This in itself is discriminatory (though location is not a protected class), but some regions are though to train their students in more blunt force manners than skills in problem solving

      What do you all think?

      11 votes
    5. I for one...

      A long time ago I had noticed a trend developing on reddit where people were starting to preface their comments with: "I for one". It's pretty insignificant, which is why I never made a post about...

      A long time ago I had noticed a trend developing on reddit where people were starting to preface their comments with: "I for one". It's pretty insignificant, which is why I never made a post about it at the time. Since then, its use seems to have spread significantly on the site and I've seen it a bit here as well.

      It makes sense to use the phrase when talking about or quoting another person to help separate their opinions from your own. The weird thing is many people now seem to use it when its not ambiguous that the comment is their own opinion. I was under the assumption that the default position should be that the comment is the opinion of the person that posted it.

      For example:

      "I for one, prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate."

      Is the same as:

      "I prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate."

      There's nothing wrong with using the phrase, it just reads like someone trying to pad out an essay for school.

      Have you noticed people using the phrase on other sites? Is it a phenomenon more specific to reddit?
      Do you use the phrase yourself? If you do, what is your thought process when typing it out?

      14 votes
    6. How can non-native speakers improve their english writing skills?

      I'm not a native speaker, but from browsing reddit, understand 95% of what I read / hear. I also watch TV Shows exclusively in english. However, when i write a comment or something in english, it...

      I'm not a native speaker, but from browsing reddit, understand 95% of what I read / hear. I also watch TV Shows exclusively in english. However, when i write a comment or something in english, it always feels like it doesn't really "flow".

      How can i, or other non-native speakers improve our writing skills?

      15 votes